Working together rather than working alone

Monday 31 October 1664

So late to my office and there till past one in the morning making up my month’s accounts, and find that my expense this month in clothes has kept me from laying up anything; but I am no worse, but a little better than I was, which is 1205l., a great sum, the Lord be praised for it!

So home to bed, with my mind full of content therein, and vexed for my being so angry in bad words to my wife to-night, she not giving me a good account of her layings out to my mind to-night.

* For our non UK readers, this word is any item of movable property apart from freehold land such as furniture, domestic animals. It’s from Medieval Latin capitale: cattle

Poor old Elizabeth (Pepys’ long suffering wife). She has to be alert to all matters of the house whilst being treated little more than a chattel* for most of the time. She takes the brunt of any frustration that Pepys has, being the nearest available living object.


It is more fun working with others than working on your own. There are occasions when solitariness is required such as when doing a carving, or sorting out an intricate problem or puzzle. Man is a group animal and functions much more effectively when in harmony with others.
Today was the perfect day for  working on our allotment. We do not have heat of the sun (what’s that you may ask), we do not suffer from waterlogged soil, or from frozen ground as can be expected from December to March. William, who has a few days off work, has enthusiastically taken up his role as committee member and paces around the plots looking for how he can help the whole allotment be in a better condition. We joined in, covering an allotment with carpets to kill weeds and having a laugh and a joke at the same time.

The interchange of ideas while doing a job is always greater than for example talking to yourself. It may seem an obvious point but when others see the task from another point of view and with another experience set, they can give insight far quicker than a person working alone. In modern jargon it is called ‘pooling of resources’.

Sometimes a physical task requires more than one person, maybe only from time to time, but there is a temptation ‘not to bother’ other people and do it on your own, giving unnecessary stress to the body and possibly damage. You can do something ever so slightly wrong and have to repeat the task. This is much less likely if someone else is observing.

If it is physical and should there be an accident then someone is there to assist. When I had my fall back  a year ago there was no one there and I had to drag myself to my car and drive five miles to get home. Not fun.
Do not assume that others are too busy to assist. They may appreciate getting out of their house and into the fresh air, or change of environment. It is partly a social thing after all. We can all draw strength from each other provided the group is in harmony; we can say that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.


Dr Amy Frost

To a lecture by Dr. Amy Frost, the curator of the Museum of Bath Architecture on the development of styles from the Greeks on to the present day. A true intellectual who held the attention of the audience by her command of history and its trends. She is one of these people who could have gone on all evening but she timed her talk to the minute to finish in the allotted time.

I won’t attempt to summarize the talk. I was struck by her reminder of the three basis of design: structure, function(s) and beauty. Are they reconcilable?  Some designs are only complete when they are populated so that requires considerable imagination.  I recommend that visitors to Bath visit. It is a little out of the town centre – well, 10 minutes but worth asking directions. Do check the opening time before setting out. This ex Methodist church is  has been converted into a small but perfectly formed exhibition which is maintained by volunteers. The images below give only some idea of the facilities.

Dr Amy giving her talk – good to see a full house (well, it is Bath you know my dear)
Architect’s pens (Ctrl and +, repeatedly,  to magnify)
The Countess of Huntingdon
with whom you do not mess around
scale model of Bath
a reminder of the history of Bath area stone
good presentations


Bath has a good sprinkling of art galleries and in closing the work in the window of one gallery caught my attention.

no idea what the title is
Falling in Love

Leave a Reply

Subscribe - submit details.